THE BLUE DRESS by Dorothy Evelyn Smith
Kirkus Star


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The private fears and aspirations of an assorted group of inhabitants in a Yorkshire village unfold while the central plot focuses on one of them. Until a mysterious, very attractive stranger drifts into town, Maureen and Eddy are busily making plans for the future. Things go wrong at a dance when Maureen disappears with Matt, the stranger, and Eddy is left alone. Eddy's mother is secretly pleased with the estrangement until she realizes how deeply her son is hurt. In a repentant letter to Eddy, Maureen explains her actions -- how Eddy's proposal suddenly frightened her, how she dealt with her fear by running off with Matt. Matt redeems himself too, by rescuing Colin, Maureen's brother, from a knife rumble. The background and innermost feelings of each character in the story,- Maureen's employer and his invalid wife, Eddy's parents, Colin, even Matt- are separate vignettes. The reader in the role of secret observer may find the abrupt changes of scene dizzying, and the central theme on the thin side. Nevertheless she is amply rewarded by Miss Smith's deftly molded characterizations and belief in the maturity of her reader- participant. An interesting and unusual technique in teenage novels, and an engrossing set of characters.

Pub Date: June 11th, 1962
Publisher: Dutton